Glimpse of Light

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To our comrades, Pussy Riot!

Thank you for your incredible engagement with which you publicly resist violations upon human rights. Thank you for your compassionate heart, which drives you to action in order to stay healthy. The most important thing in the world today is to take a stand for life – for the survival and protection of uncountable human beings, animals and plants.

I am a co-worker in the network of Terra Nova – a worldwide movement that uses its power in non-violent radicality to build real perspectives so that what you are experiencing in the penal colony never ever happens again.

I have read the account of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and I am shocked that our humanity has come to this reality. To react with a hunger strike is radical and probably one of the only possible steps in your situation. Still I could not tolerate that you, and so many thousands that would act in a similar way, would fall victim to death in this way. I’m glad to hear you have finished the hunger strike.

We are needed! The few that actually still have the courage to raise their voice must live.

There are experiential reports of people that survived the concentration camps in World War II. They tell of a force of life that was so strong that it protected their own lives. A force that made them completely immune against the attacks from outside, even in the most horrible situation.

In their imprisonment they discovered an inner freedom independent of the outer circumstances. For me it is important to know that this force exists and to learn how I can apply it in every situation.

I want to share two reports on this with you. Perhaps it is a small glimpse of light in the darkest hours.

Etty Hillesum was a Jewish Dutch woman who wrote her diaries during World War II. She was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943, at the age of 29. Her diaries, written during the last two years of her life, are a testimony of love and compassion, of trust in life and deep spirituality. In the darkest time she prepared the new that she saw emerging.

“The misery is really big, but nevertheless, I often walk late in the evening when the day behind me has sunk away into profundity. I walk with whipping steps along the barbed wire and then it wells up out of my heart again and again – I cannot help it, it is the way it is, it is of an elementary power: Life is something wonderful and big, later we have to build up a whole new world – and each further crime and each further cruelty we have to contrast with a further piece of love and goodness, which we have to conquer within ourselves.” (Etty: The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943, Etty Hillesum, 2002).

Satprem was a French resistance fighter in World War II and a spiritual seeker. During his imprisonment in German concentration camps he made the following discovery:

…When I suddenly awoke out of this terrifying nothing into an unspeakable joy. Suddenly I arose into something immensely pure and strong – strong, you know. STRONG: nothing was able to touch me anymore. A force – a force, you know. Something that suddenly made me invulnerable. That was the first contact with the truth, with what you are – which every human being is.

When one touches this beginning of being, one touches what is present everywhere. In other human beings, in the plant or in the animal, one touches the actual being of the world. And the actual being of the world is something full, powerful, mighty and – regal.” (My Burning Heart, Satprem, Fr. de Towarnicki, 1990).

I stand behind you with all my power and work.

I am looking forward to our paths crossing someday.

For our children and for love!

Mara Vollmer

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